Robert Gordon's College offers opportunity, choice and support to launch young people to the next stage of their education and future career pathways.
Upon leaving the school gates pupils join our 13,000 strong Gordonian network across the globe.
- Work Experience
- Graduate Apprenticeships
- Further Education
- Studying Abroad
- Sport Scholarships
- GAP Year
- Gordonian Mentoring Programme
- International Partnerships
Supporting appropriate career aspirations which match the interests and talents of our pupils is an integral part of the pastoral programme at Robert Gordon’s College. Our pastoral team, including the Head of Universities and Careers, is available to provide individual support to meet the needs of all our pupils. They work collaboratively with the wider pastoral team to support and advise pupils about their subject choices prior to entering Third, Fifth and Sixth year. College School Links courses, which can be studied in parallel with our curriculum, are also offered to pupils where appropriate.
The team is also responsible for liaising with outside agencies, including employers, colleges and universities across the country, and for arranging Higher Education and Careers Conventions for pupils and their families. Pupils are encouraged to attend relevant careers events, which are advertised through our Unifrog careers platform, and all S5 pupils take part in a Work Experience placement week in June.
With greater than 95% of pupils going on to study at institutions of Higher and Further Education around the world after leaving school, S6 pupils are supported through the university and college application process and are offered interview practice by College staff and visiting professionals.
At the end of their Fifth year, pupils at Robert Gordon’s College are expected to undertake one week of work experience. Pupils are encouraged and supported to find their own work experience placements in their preferred career areas rather than the school allocating placements for each individual pupil. This allows pupils the opportunity to find a placement that engages and motivates them whilst also gaining valuable transferable skills and experience of job seeking through letter writing, CV writing, etc. that they will need later in life.
If pupils in any year group would like to organise further work experience, especially pupils requiring additional work experience for university entry to specific courses, then we are happy to support this. However, we encourage placements to take place during weekends, after school or during school holidays where possible. Exceptions to this apply to work experience programmes run by organisations at specific times. All NHS placement requests in Grampian hospitals for any career area must be applied for through our Universities & Careers team. Pupils interested in studying Medicine should gain hospital experience through NHS Grampian’s “Doctors at Work” preferred summer work experience programme.
We also encourage pupils to participate in volunteering and we would be more than happy to support pupils in seeking out suitable opportunities.
An apprenticeship is an excellent option for our school leavers to consider and our team are keen to support any pupils interested in following this pathway. They are particularly suitable for pupils who may be interested in vocational career areas and/or prefer experiential learning; learning by doing and getting hands on experience. They also allow pupils to develop new knowledge, skills and gain valuable work experience in a realistic workplace setting whilst at the same time gaining a recognised qualification at the end of it. Many apprentices make good contacts that may help them progress to a permanent job, further training at college, a higher level apprenticeship or even university and there are now three different kinds of apprenticeships available in Scotland.
Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs)
These apprenticeships are offered by Further Education colleges, are studied over 2 years, offer work experience and are at the same level as a Higher. They are growing in number, are based on Scotland’s economic needs and skills shortages and are normally completed alongside a more traditional curriculum whilst pupils remain at school. On the successful completion of this apprenticeship pupils can go on to apply for a full-time job or Modern Apprenticeship, gain a place at college or apply to university. It’s also a great way to try out a career to see if it’s a good fit.
Modern Apprenticeships (MAs)
Modern Apprenticeships allow pupils to learn new skills, work towards a qualification, gain valuable work experience and get paid at the same time. There are more than 80 types of Modern Apprenticeships across hundreds of jobs and these areas will grow depending on Scotland’s economic needs and skills shortages.
Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs)
These apprenticeships are aimed at people who would like to start earning money and have a job but would also like to gain a degree level qualification (up to Masters level) as well.
Every year we support pupils in making the transition to Further Education college. This is an excellent pathway for some pupils as it offers the opportunity to follow vocational routes that are not offered by other pathways. Additionally, Further Education can provide a stepping stone to other pathways, such as university via an articulation route (often referred to as 2+2) where pupils would go on to study at college for one/two years and gain an HNC/HND before going on to complete their degree course at a university. This route allows pupils the opportunity to graduate with the same degree in either the same/almost the same time as taking the university pathway directly.
- University Aberdeen
- University of Abertay Dundee
- University of Dundee
- The University of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Napier University
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- University of Glasgow
- Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
- Robert Gordon University
- University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)
- University of St Andrews
- University of Stirling
- The University of Strathclyde
- University of the west of Scotland (UWS)
- Anglia Ruskin University
- University of Bath
- Birmingham City University
- University of Bristol
- University of Cambridge
- Cardiff University
- University of Central Lancashire
- Durham University
- University of Exeter
- University College Falmouth
- Imperial College London
- King’s College London (University of London)
- University of Leeds
- The University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- Northumbria University
- The University of Nottingham
- Oxford University
- Oxford Brookes University
- Queen Margaret University
- The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
- The University of Reading
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- The University of Salford
- University of Surrey
- University of the Arts London
- University College London (University of London)
- The University of Warwick University of Westminster
Those pupils interested in applying for “high tariff” universities are encouraged from S4 to attend additional sessions, such as the Watt Next co-curricular club for STEM subjects and the Medical Ethics club, as well as specialist sessions to help them become familiar with the application process, any additional assessments, etc. Specialist subject support for personal statement writing, interview practice and other support is also given, often supported by our Gordonian alumni. It is also important for any pupils wanting to apply to these universities and courses to undertake significant independent research into the subject beyond the school syllabus as well as the specific requirements for the university and the course of interest.
Pupils at Robert Gordon’s College who have demonstrated an interest in applying to university courses around the world have always been supported with their applications. Historically our pupils have attended universities in Europe, Canada and the USA, studying a variety of courses, including Medicine and Dentistry. We provide our pupils with resources and advice to help them carry out the research needed so that they can make this decision as soon as possible so that sufficient time is available for both pupils and teachers to fully support their application.
One of our former pupils, Mihika, has been particularly successful in securing a graduate position for a pharmaceutical company in Denmark, following the completion of her undergraduate degree in Public Health at Maastricht University, Netherlands and a masters degree in Epidemiology at Imperial College, London.
Pupils who are interested in combining their academic and sporting ambitions are supported through the scholarship application process to universities and colleges around the world who have centres of sporting excellence enabling pupils to further develop in their chosen sport.
We have a number of former pupils who have studied abroad whilst pursuing their sporting passions. Read more about Archie who was awarded a scholarship in New York where he is studying Psychology and Criminal Justice whilst pursuing his talent in swimming.
Gap Year opportunities are introduced to our Fifth year pupils at the start of the year with a presentation from a Gap Year provider. They hear directly about the experiences of recently returned volunteers and have the opportunity to ask questions directly. Additionally, we support pupils with ideas, resources and financial opportunities, which are tailored to the individual needs of the pupil. A Gap Year pathway can be popular for pupils wanting to gain some additional experience before going to university and we have had pupils working as Healthcare Assistants within the NHS, Counsellors at Camp America and Project Trust volunteers abroad.
The Gordonian Mentoring Programme has been launched to provide senior pupils and young alumni access to the wealth of experience residing within the Gordonian community. The programme has been established to formalise ways for young Gordonians to learn from experienced Gordonians who can help advise and guide when considering career paths and life beyond school.
Pupils at Robert Gordon’s College benefit from access to a global educational community providing opportunities to learn from the experience of partners across the world which include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RGC Corporate Partners, Institute of Physics, British International School of Houston, and the GAIL network.
In order to extend our learning environment, we have formed an alliance with schools in every continent of the world whose vision and ethos we share. Through this alliance, pupils and staff from each institution can experience living and working together in pursuit of a global objective: to learn from each other, to recognise a common humanity which transcends cultural and religious differences and to see one’s own culture from a different perspective.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Global Alliance for Innovative Learning (GAIL)
- British International School of Houston
In 2015, Robert Gordon's College began it’s partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston as the first school in the UK to deliver MIT’s Global Teaching Lab (GTL) programme which brings world-class teaching from MIT to the North East of Scotland. Each year MIT undergraduate students visit Robert Gordon’s College for the month of January to deliver lessons, lectures and host workshops for Junior and Senior pupils. This opportunity has also been shared with schools across the north east of Scotland who are invited to Robert Gordon’s College to engage on STEM subjects and learn how they can progress from school to an international learning institution.
Robert Gordon's College is strongly committed to enhancing the professional development of teachers and of driving further progress in the Junior and Senior Schools through enhanced awareness of best practice in education. This is powerfully assisted through annual Staff Fellowships arranged through the GAIL network of partner schools. Every year two staff are approved to undertake international research at a GAIL partner school on a topic which supports improvement at Gordon's. This is an innovative and forward thinking initiative, with a research paper being written on return that informs further thought and action at Gordon's. As well as sending Staff Fellows, we assist with hosting several visiting academic staff from other global partner schools, who in turn broaden the links and learning between our international network of schools.
- Africa: Prestige College, Pretoria, South Africa
- Asia: Woodstock School, Mussoorie, India
- Asia: The Western International School of Shanghai, China
- Australasia: Scotch College, Adelaide, Australia
- Australasia: Kristin School, Auckland, New Zealand
- Europe: Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen, UK
- North America: Kimball Union Academy, New Hampshire, USA
- South America: Newton College, Peru
Robert Gordon’s College has partnered with the British International School of Houston to offer families a smooth transition process when relocating to and from the cities and enhance the experiences of their shared pupils, parents and staff. The schools share many values and educational links including partnerships with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) teaching approaches, as well as exceptional practice in the performing arts of drama, dance, music and art.
British International School of Houston